The British Library

Patricia’s Story

I am Portuguese. My family, up to my parent's generation lived all over the world, in the then Portuguese colonies, Angola, Mozambique, Guine Bissau, East Timor. By the time I was born everyone was back in continental Portugal and even though I heard the stories growing up, it never really sunk in completely. I always had itchy feet, and as a teenager wondered how come I was so different from the rest of my family, always dreaming of living. I think I was 14 or 15 when I finally understood that the itchy feet were actually in my genes.

I've lived in a few different places in Europe, dreamt about living in London throughout my 20s, then got over that, ended up moving to London in my mid-30s, but not quite as excited about it as I had once been.

I have grown to like the coolness, the muddy walks and the pubs, the greeness, the variety of London, fish and chips and milky tea.

Now I am married to a lovely Yorkshireman and my life is in the UK, but with the whole Brexit situation it does feel a lot less welcoming and I do sometimes think about going home (to Portugal).

On the other hand, when discussing UK with foreigners I do find myself including myself in the "we", as in we the british. But maybe what I am really thinking is the "we" of the UK residents worried about Brexit and the political situation, either as UK or EU citizens.

-Patricia, London

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